The tradition of giving a spoon to one's lover is very old. The Welsh and Norwegians have museums of old carved wooden spoons which young men would create as presents for the young ladies which they were courting. Reproductions of these old wooden spoons are readily available. But since this is a sterling silver spoon page, I felt obligated to show only silver spoons in the love "genre". Although these spoons were probably not made by the young man they are obvious derivatives of that tradition.
gift wrapped ribbon and bow spoon
Man and woman finials from large Dutch Servers
On the right picture notice the cherubs holding the base of the figures
For more information on these see Large Dutch Servers
Examples of Marriage Finials from monkey spoons
Dutch caddy spoon showing a man and woman courting.
Note the fruit which was symbolic for wealth
For more information see Monkey Spoons
Examples of hand made heart shaped bowl "love" spoons
Although you can't see the detail, many are engraved with a person's name or initials
Close up to show details on some of the Love Spoons
Cute handmade love spoon with a heart and strawberries. The bowl is shell shaped. At this point in history, strawberries were considered to be a delicacy. Unmarked, but I think it is sterling.
On the left is a German Souvenir spoon from the Cologne
Church (bowl). I thought this was an example of a love spoon, but noted
spoon scholar expert, Wilhelm, of the Campanian Society has done
further research on this spoon and he says; "Cöln. Dom an RH. Hdle
obv. at the finial is a bottle (??) with this inscription in black on
white enamel: "Johann Maria Farina gegenüber dem
Jülichs-Platz" + decorative stem. BL: enameled view of "Dom.
Cöln am Rh." Fine details and exquisite enamel image. MK: 2 maker
marks. Stamped: 800. Length: 5 inches. This spoon is rare and unique
(probably an advertising spoon) for the perfume). MB: $85.00
¬Commentary: Cologne was founded and established in Ubii territory in the first century AD as the Roman Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, from which it gets its name. "Cologne", the French version of the city's name, has become standard in English as well.
¬Finial: Johann Maria Farina gegenüber dem Jülichs-Platz (English: John Maria Farina opposite Jülich's Square) is the world's oldest eau de Cologne and perfume factory. It was founded at the beginning of the 18th century by Giovanni Maria Farina (German: Johann Maria Farina), an Italian perfume maker who started his business in 1709. The company's logo is a red tulip. The French name "Jean Marie Farina vis à vis de la place Juliers" and the short form "Farina gegenüber" were also commonly used over a long period of time. The company is still run by the founder’s descendants, who are the eighth generation of family members. "
The spoon on the right of the first picture is probably an Eastern European marriage spoon. Some of these countries had a tradition of visiting the village well (see finial) on their wedding day. This spoon is entirely hand made, but does not have any engraving. The maker mark is very hard to read but looks like it might be Hebraic characters.
Dutch spoon from the 1860 -70 time period. The bowl shows a picture of "ladies-in-waiting" taking care of the bride-to-be. The finial is St. George slaying the dragon (closeup can be seen on the dragon page)
A separate exhibit of these Dutch love spoons has been created under the bon bon category. You can access the link from the main index.
These spoons are similar to the love spoons above, except they have conventional looking bowls instead of heart shaped bowls. Many were given to "sweethearts", but others may be engraved with a city name, or have another design element in the bowl.
This lovely large art nuevo heart bowl server spoon has extensive hand cutouts in the bowl. The handle is cast. Only mark is sterling
This 4-leaf clover spoon with a heart shaped bowl probably sums up a young man's intention upon presenting it to his betrothed
A twisty vine handle with an applied leaf and grape cluster. The bowl is engraved to "Rhoda"